My father had a saying when we were growing up: always go the extra mile. It was his mantra, and he instilled it in me from an early age. Although I didn’t get a degree or any professional qualifications after school, I believed in always working hard, despite the position I held or how much I was getting paid.
It was an attitude that paid off. Even when I went overseas and tended a bar in England after school, I approached the position with that same vigour, and I learnt that a great attitude can really get you far in life – which is what I wanted for myself.
My headmaster in high school in Zimbabwe used to tell us to start life as a ripple, but end as a wave – and not the other way around. His meaning was two-fold. He was trying to teach us to understand the pecking order and earn the right to have our say – in other words, work for everything we wanted. He was also telling us to dream big.
Between his advice and my dad’s mantra, the two ideals have worked well together. I’ve always believed that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough and had the right attitude – but also that great things don’t come free, or easy. Lay the right foundations for your success. Be willing to put in the time – and success will follow.